That first time you see your team win
Your first beer
The first time you go on holiday with your mate…
…all of these firsts pale into nothingness when compared to the first time you have a baby.
My route to fatherhood was slightly unconventional – I became step-dad to a six year old Beth when I met her Mum, my wife. Seven years later we were (finally) expecting our first child together and much like the first time you do your own supermarket shop, I was overwhelmed by how many products and how much equipment was available.
It’s hard to know what to spend your money on. Believe me we made some mistakes – because much like the first time a girl lets you see her boobs, preparing for the arrival of your little darling is a steep learning curve. We bought things that we haven’t even used.
Like a top and tail bowl – what are they even for?
An internet dependent baby monitor – despite the fact that our connection is sketchy at best.
A year’s supply of baby bath – that it turns out, Dorothy is allergic to.
The list of things you don’t really need or can probably do without is mind blowing, but two things all babies need are a pram and a car seat.
No really – they won’t let you take your baby home from the hospital without a car seat!
Rachel loves lists so she was in her element but like most men I expect, my thoughts turned immediately to how much this was going to cost. My wife is the creative one in our house. She tends to deal with aesthetics and I deal with kit, tech, functionality. I’m good at researching and finding a bargain. I thought I’d done that when I bought a second hand pram when Rachel was just 4 weeks pregnant. I can’t think why she wasn’t that pleased! 😊
With mounting expenses and an uncertain financial future it might’ve been a was a wise choice. However it felt less wise when we realised the hood was irreparably damaged and even less wise when our second ‘bargain’ pram began to cause hip and back problems for Rachel. When we brought home our third second-hand pram in 6 months, I began to wish we’d just bitten the bullet and bought a new one.
This journey of discovery has cost me an arm and a leg. It’s meant that we’ve had to learn how to operate multiple attachments and clips and hoods…. and make do with whatever functionality the pram offered rather than seeking out a system that suited our needs. Prams are a pain! When it’s raining all over your precious little one and it normally does in Lancashire, your brain doesn’t think logically- it goes to straight to that crazy, mad place where arms and brain don’t work together. If you’ve seen me putting up a pram in the rain, or grappling with a rain cover, you’ll know why I would so often say ‘no no, I’ll carry her!’
The upshot of our pram drama is that we know how our ideal pram would look and work and it turns out that our ideal pram is the Cosatto Wow Travel System.
The first thing you notice about Cosatto equipment is that it looks good. Cosatto are famous for their prints and after a series of grey, black and dark grey prams, we were excited to be asked to review something a little more exciting. I let Rachel choose the print because she’s at home with Dorothy more than I am and my vintage loving wife went for this cool, retro flower pattern. Apparently the purple and the flowers work well because they don’t clash with Dorothy’s coats. I know – I wouldn’t have thought of that either!!
When the pram first arrived I got a text from Rachel that simply said, ‘this pram is a dream’. Now what makes something a dream to my Mrs and what appeals to me are often two different things but her next text – ‘it’s so light I can push it with one finger!’ – piqued my interest. It was high praise indeed from the woman who was struggling so much with hip pain that she’d actually started to avoid going out with the pram at all. I was keen to put this to the test aswell. A back injury has weakened my ability to lift heavy objects and let me tell you, the prams we’ve had haven’t been conducive to a successful recovery.
With my back pain, the ideal pram has to be light – very light! But I’ve found with lightweight prams and travel systems, they tend to be flimsy like they’ve sacrificed stability in order to reduce the weight. Not the case with the Cossato. As we’re both tall, we need an extendable handle bar, otherwise we’d slouch while we pushed the pram. With other prams a once sturdy frame became a rickity mess once the handle bar was at full stretch, but the Cosatto remains strong. The Cosatto for me, is the lightest heavyweight pram I’ve ever experienced. It’s like Colin McGregor!
The ideal pram needs to be able to handle our active lifestyle and this does. Rachel and I had one our biggest rows over an uncooperative pram that simply WOULD NOT fold down, so our marriage thanks Cosatto for designing this one so well that we can both fold and unfold it with one hand, first time!
It has four wheels – the front two can be locked but we don’t use them that way, it can take most terrains including gravel, woodland and cobbles without any issues and I can confirm, you can not only push this pram with one hand but steer it too. And if you do decide to test it on woodland as we did, you’ll be pleased to hear that the pram wipes clean easily and the bulk of the soft parts are machine washable. So no matter how active you are, you can keep your pram looking slick.
The pram comes with a carry cot top for very young babies who can’t sit unaided and a forward facing ‘toddler seat’. The toddler seat can be reclined fully for naps and the Mrs has told me to point out that while Dorothy has never been good at napping, this pram seems to have been sprinkled with sleepy dust! She sleeps! Dorothy will sleep if taken for a walk in this pram!
Written on the frame are the words ‘great British design’ and it really is. Forgive me for my ignorance but before Dorothy I just thought that all prams were pretty much the same. But they aren’t. You can really see the thought that’s gone into the Cosatto. Whether it’s the little messages on clips and hoods or the pockets on the cosy toes for babies to snuggle their little hands, there are cool design features everywhere. The hood for example extends until it’s almost touching the seat.
This means that even when it’s in the reclined position, you can protect baby from the sun or wind. The deep basket has a reinforced base which prevents damage from curbs, a large compartment which we use to neatly store the coordinating rain cover, a small zipped compartment for storing…well anything you want to keep safe and the best cup holder ever. No really. Have you ever tried to store an open can of pop in a pram cup holder? We have. It was a right mess. Even bottles are a bad idea as they get shaken up so badly that you’re left drinking flat cola (*disclaimer – we do also drink water). The Cosatto’s cup holder is actually in the basket and Rachel claims to have successfully transported an OPEN cup in there without spillage. I am yet to see photographic evidence of this but I can believe it.
Although they’re sold separately, we have the matching changing bag and car seat. The car seat can be used with an isofix base but can also be fit to a car using just the seat belt, which is great for us as the isofix base stays in my car but the seat can still be used should Rachel need it. Better still it can be attached to the base meaning that if space is tight (and it often is when packing prams, car seats, shopping, toys and children in a car) you don’t need to take the toddler seat along. Fitting the car-seat with a seat belt is a bit fiddly but using the base, it’s simply a case of waiting until you hear a click, the same when you use it on the pram frame – it’s so simple. It has a five point harness which is good because our child can wriggle her way out of anything less, a sun canopy and it’s fairly lightweight and of course the car seat has the same funky fabric as the pram.
Fitting the car-seat with a seat belt is a bit fiddly but using the base, it’s simply a case of waiting until you hear a click, the same when you use it on the pram frame – it’s so simple. It has a five point harness which is good because our child can wriggle her way out of anything less, a sun canopy and it’s fairly lightweight and of course the car seat has the same funky fabric as the pram.
I’m a fan of the changing bag as well because it’s so easy to use. There are separate compartments for nappies, drinks, wipes etc, meaning that when I use it (generally at the weekends) I’m able to find everything first time. This is a big improvement on our last changing bag which was just one big sack where teeny tiny socks, door keys and hand sanitizer went to die! It just feels more organised and accessible and because Rachel keeps her personal things in one pocket, I don’t feel like I’m rooting around in her handbag every time I go to find a clean bib!
Dorothy loves this pram, Rachel loves this pram, the general public loves this pram! You can’t walk two paces down the street without someone commenting on how great it is. I suppose it just stands out and not just because it’s made in a retro print, because it really is great British design and I kinda love it too.
The Cosatto Wow Travel System receives an official Dad Network star rating of 5 / 5 star and wins our award of recommendation.
Thumbs up from the dads on this one Cosatto!